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How to Search for PDF on Google

Ever wondered if it is possible to search for PDFs on Google? Yes, it is.

Searching for PDFs on Google is one of the most convenient ways of finding specific documents, ebooks, or whatever information you want to find stored in PDF format. It becomes really helpful if you're carrying out academic research or you're a bibliophile simply looking for a book to read.

Google has filtering enabled by their algorithms during search which makes it easier for you to find the specific PDF you are after. PDFs are efficient in helping with the overall preservation of the original format and layout of your documents, ensuring it is viewed the way it is supposed to be.

So, you will want to find your PDF easily to access the accurate documents or important information stored in them. If so, then this article will serve as a guide for you to search for PDFs on Google.

How to Search for PDF on Google

How to Search for PDFs on Google

To know how to search for PDFs on Google you will need to be familiar with Google search operators. Google operators are certain commands which, when typed into Google, can narrow down your search. This ensures that you get better results that are more relevant and satisfy your search.

Essentially, Google commands help in customizing searches. So, these commands are essential during the search for PDFs on Google. Now let's look into cases where five of these commands become useful and effective when searching for PDF on Google. They are –

1. Using filetype:pdf to search for PDFs on Google

Type in filetype:pdf along with your keyword to find a specific PDF. When you do so you will get results on PDFs relating to the keyword you typed in. For example, "filetype:pdf SEO audit" will fetch you PDFs related to SEO audits.

To streamline your search, you can type in more specifications. For example, upon typing "filetype:pdf SEO audit example technical", Google will act on the ’technical’ specification added and it will find PDFs related to that specific area of your keyword.

Using this "filetype:" feature properly, you can easily find PDFs on specific topics. Note that this feature does not only work on PDFs. You can also use it to search for other file types such as DOC, DOCX, TXT, PPT, PTX, and more.

2. Use - and “” along with filetype:pdf to exclude certain words and/or phrases from search results

The combination of "filetype:" and “” or - can be used to exclude a word or phrase of your choice. This means that if, for example, you search for "filetype:pdf SEO audit -local" you will get results on PDFs relating to SEO audits excluding those including the word local.

And if you type in "filetype:pdf SEO audit guide -“Olga zarzeczna”" will search for PDFs related to SEO audit guides excluding the whole phrase “Olga zarzeczna”. These operators help in narrowing down your results when you search for PDFs on Google.

3. Look for PDFs restricted to a certain domain

When wanting to find a PDF on Google in a particular site, you will need to be more specific in your search. Here you will need to only type in "filetype:pdf" replacing "" with your domain of choice.

And if you need to exclude a word or a phrase while searching for a PDF to define your search, simply type in "filetype:pdf -excluded word" or "filetype:pdf -the phrase you want to exclude" and you will get results narrowed down to your request. When trying to find a PDF containing a certain phrase on a site type in 'filetype:pdf “desired phrase”'.

4. Exclude PDF files from specific domains

Do you want to completely exclude PDFs related to a specific website? You can do this by making use of the "filetype:pdf" with the "site" and "-" commands.

For example, if you type in "filetype:pdf SEO audit -site:" this will look for PDFs on SEO audit excluding the ones found in the domain from your search results even if it is one on the top of the search results page.

You can also exclude PDFs from more than one domain by typing, for example –

"filetype:pdf SEO audit".

Here, PDFs in the three domains will not be shown and this will refine your search results.

5. Check if there are indexed copies of your content

This is a useful trick when searching for PDFs on Google. Here, you will need to combine “” and -site: with filetype:pdf to check if there are PDF copies of your content. In “” you will put in a unique phrase or sentence from your content this will help you find PDFs related to the unique phrase. And in -site: you will put in the domain from which you do not want to get search results.

When you combine both commands you will get only PDFs related to your unique phrase excluding those in the domain you inserted and you will find out if anyone is copying you. For example, if you type in '“As a fan of mine, you will know that I love eating fruits.” filetype:pdf' you will get results relating to the sentence but excluding those in the mentioned domain.


Ever needed to search for PDFs on Google and wasn't sure how to go about it? Rather than scrolling through tons of search results looking for PDF entries, this article has offered a guide to specifically search for PDFs on Google.

Pay attention to using the Google commands and search operators. This way, you can save time during search and get desired results. And if you're looking for other file types, remember that the same principles apply. Only, you would need to change.

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